Sep 5, 2018
Brad grew up in Washington, NC. He was 9 years old when his father took him and his younger brother to Hunters Pointe to shoot their first round of sporting clays. That is where they met Scott Downs, an All-American and former Junior National Sporting Clays champion. Scott quickly recognized that young Brad was a natural shotgunner and took him under his wing. They started to travel to shoots together and Scott took Brad to his first National Championship in 1992 where Scott would capture the National title. “Scott was already my hero and shotgunning already my passion but witnessing firsthand when Scott win the National title was the icing on the cake. At that moment I knew I wanted to become a champion just like Scott.”
In 1993 Brad took his first shooting lesson from Dan Carlisle. His shooting continued to improve and Brad went on to win 3 US Opens, 2 National Championships and a World Championship in the Junior category by the age of 16. It seemed as though the youngster’s future in shooting couldn’t have looked any brighter but a culmination of events in the late 90’s, including his family going through some financial hardships, as well as Scott’s tragic death, would steer Brad away from the game for a number of years.
After college, Brad began working in the real estate finance industry and at a young age started a finance company, which went through a boom and bust cycle. Ultimately the bust cycle is what brought Brad back to sporting clays. “I had poured my heart and soul into this company and when the market collapsed there was nothing I could do, I was crushed. After a couple months of sulking and pondering my next move, I started considering shooting clays again. I had missed the game terribly over the past several years and with nothing to lose I figured I would give it another shot.”
With the help of friends like Anthony Matarese, Cory Kruse, Zach Kienbaum, and his former coach Dan Carlisle, Brad was able to climb back to the top of the ranks. Over the past few years, Brad has added another National title (2010) to his resume as well as leading Team USA to gold in two World Championships (2011, 2013). “I couldn’t have done it without those guys. Shooters had elevated their games to a whole new level while I was away from the sport. The progression each and every year is incredible. I was lucky to have such a great group of friends who were willing to help me out.”